Security forces arrest former Mali prime minister on corruption charges
Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga allegedly implicated in $16.7M embezzlement case, according to local media
Security forces in Mali arrested a former prime minister of the country Thursday over charges related to the purchase of a plane for then President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, local media reported.
The arrest of Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga following a Supreme Court summons was also connected with the purchase of military equipment, according to the local aBamako daily.
In October 2014, the Office of the Auditor General in the West African nation revealed that the transactions involved a case of embezzlement worth 9.3 billion CFA francs ($16.7 million).
Maiga, 67, had been serving as minister of defense and veterans affairs at the time.
He faces charges of forgery, corruption, favoritism, breach of trust and influence peddling.
The Auditor General had unearthed cases of overbilling as well as numerous anomalies in the procurement process.
The case had been closed in 2018 but was reopened last year.
Maiga is believed to have been a close ally of former President Keita, who was overthrown by Col. Assimi Goita in August 2020.
He was appointed Keita's prime minister in 2017 but resigned in April 2019 following a massacre in the central region of the country in which 160 people were killed.
Maiga was arrested along with former Economy Minister Bouare Fily Sissoko, who was charged with offences against public property, forgery, favoritism, nepotism and corruption.
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